Wednesday, December 8, 2010


We see it in virtually every business: A company folds and a similar company offers out the old customers a discount, or a trade-in. They are like vultures circling a carcass. And I don't mean that in a bad way.

The NYC OTB's have shut their doors. It is estimated that about $750M in handle goes through the windows there. At a 22% blended take, that is $150M or so in revenue. The OTB customer is not like me and many of you. They are not price sensitive like we are, they do not shop for an ADW which has good service and good prices. They are the old-time horseplayer. They are not going to jump into another plan without some prodding.

So, it is interesting to read that there appears to be no response from Yonkers regarding this. Other than an ad from NYRA rewards (good on them for a response, but we expect it from Dan Silver), we seem to hear crickets.

Even then, as They're in the Gate talks about today, as well as Power Cap, even if NYRA rewards do sign up some customers via NYRA rewards, some weird, antiquated, horse and buggy law prohibits these folks from even watching the races they bet.

"Hi Mr. Customer. You know you can still play the races at NYRA rewards online"


"You sure can. You can make all your bets, you just can't watch the races"

If you and I were running a business and a competitor went out of business, we would be on the ground asking for their business. We would employ a grass-roots team to meet them at the door. If we were doing business online where they need an account we would be handing out leaflets, signing up people left and right, offering them $40 free to try us. We would have demonstrations of our product. We would be doing business. And we sure as hell would not be handcuffed by a 1990 law in a 2010 world where when we do sign them up, they can watch what they are signing up for.

Such is horse racing; and there seems to be no one in charge to fix such common-sense problems.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Today's Grening article in the DRF gives the actual figures for NYC OTB:

In 2009, NYC OTB handled $695 million, of which $243 million was wagered on NYRA races. NYRA is the largest creditor of NYC OTB, being owed $27.5 million.

This amounts to 35% of the NYC OTB handle going into the NYRA pools.

G. C. said...

At power cap we have been discussing this issue for three tears actually taking the time to write a letter to my state senator.

Ironically the senator took no action on my letter ro any racing issue but she was there to accept payoffs from AEG for the racino(she was reelected in a landslide). I digress but it took the OTB "crisis" for any type of movement to change the law on racing video.

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